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Funding announced to provide full cellphone coverage along B.C.’s Highway of Tears

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Funding has been announced to provide cellular coverage along B.C.’s Highway 16, a notorious stretch of road known as the Highway of Tears.

The federal and provincial governments are providing $4.5 million towards the $11.6-million cost to establish cellular service along the entire route from Prince Rupert to Prince George.

B.C. Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare said the project will give residents peace of mind knowing they can reach out for help if it’s needed.

Click to play video: Bus service is set to start along the notorious Highway of Tears

The need for cellular coverage along the highway was highlighted in the Highway of Tears Symposium Recommendation Report, a list of 33 recommendations for improving safety along the highway and for the First Nations communities it passes through.

Read more: Canada is asking families of murdered, missing Indigenous women to wait for action plan. Why?

Cellphone service was also highlighted in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Eighteen women have been murdered or have disappeared along Highway 16 and adjacent routes since the 1970s.

— With files from The Canadian Press